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New Podcast Series: The Complete John Williams Television Music Walkthrough


Thor
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@Thor I'm so excited to listen to this. Thank you for creating it and sharing your accumulation of knowledge on these early shows. I'm excited to dive in later today!

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I've tried to investigate this music myself a bit over the years, watching what I could find on Youtube for Bachelor Father, Checkmate, Wagon Train, etc. but I'm looking forward to listening to someone else do the work for me!

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This was really awesome to listen to @Thor. Very informative, well presented and I appreciate the organized way you went through the different TV series' and the fun and interesting details you provided. 

 

My favorite music clips are:

General Electric Theatre: S10E03 10 Days in the Sun - really playful and fun!

 

Bachelor Father: I really enjoy the main title theme!

 

Wagon Train: "Jumpin' Jack Rabbit" track from the OST is really fun and something about the melody makes me think of the main theme from Bachelor Flat.

 

 

Other thoughts:

Really cool bit of info that Williams may actually appear in an episode of Playhouse 90 as a pianist. I'd love to see that if the the episode ever surfaces. 

 

With 45 episodes scored for Bachelor Father plus the theme for Season 3, man I'd love to hear all of that stuff. I have a soft spot for the lighter TV music of these older eras. 

 

Thanks again for sharing the information and putting it together so nicely, I am excited for Part II!

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Excellent, excellent podcast.  I am amazed at how good these early pieces are.  They mostly have a straight hollywood sound but with little touches that will develop into Williams's signature sound.  Crazy to think how fast these things needed to be written with no expectation that they would be remembered beyond one night.  

 

That jazz piece midway through--damn.  

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Hello Thor did you find out a thing more about the obscure TV Pilot/Movie that I mentioned a few months ago? I sent an image of an article from Variety reporting thwt Williams would score it. 

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3 hours ago, stravinsky said:

Hello Thor did you find out a thing more about the obscure TV Pilot/Movie that I mentioned a few months ago? I sent an image of an article from Variety reporting thwt Williams would score it. 

 

You mean the CBS Playhouse thing? No, haven't been able to find it yet.

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  • 1 month later...

I don't like to "bump" my own threads, but since I spent such an insane amount of time on this thing, I'm curious if people found any favourite cues in this episode? Any favourite cues from ALCOA, for example?

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57 minutes ago, Thor said:

I don't like to "bump" my own threads

 

There's nothing wrong with that, especially for something like this! Don't feel bad at all. More people should check this out. 

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Bravo Thor, I'm enjoying this series a lot. In spite of calling myself a JW fan, I was largely unfamiliar with his early TV work, so thank you for introducing me to it.

It's pretty amazing to notice how much of Williams' inventiveness, taste and flair was already there from the very beginning.

Just a note: I use Castbox as a podcatcher on my smartphone and while I was able to add 'Celluloid Tunes', it now looks like the rss feed has no longer been updated after episode 73 (first installment of your walk-through). I had to listen your latest two-parter using the browser.

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2 hours ago, Poor_Man_S_HirschFeld said:

Bravo Thor, I'm enjoying this series a lot. In spite of calling myself a JW fan, I was largely unfamiliar with his early TV work, so thank you for introducing me to it.

It's pretty amazing to notice how much of Williams' inventiveness, taste and flair was already there from the very beginning.

Just a note: I use Castbox as a podcatcher on my smartphone and while I was able to add 'Celluloid Tunes', nut it looks like the rss feed has no longer been updated after episode 73 (first installment of your walk-through). I had to listen your latest two-parter using the browser.

 

Thanks for the comment, Hirscheld!

 

I'll consult the webmaster about the RSS issue.

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Thank you so much @Thor for putting so much work into Part II of this series. 

 

It was a true holiday treat for me to sit down and listen through this past weekend. 

 

Like you, an Alcoa Premiere box set would be a holy grail. Aside from wanting the music, I'd love to see all the episodes too because it sounds like some really interesting stories, and some great Fred Astaire material too. I wonder if any efforts have been made to locate and release the series itself on DVD/ BD. 

 

I've always really enjoyed the Checkmate album. I suspected it was probably a re-recording/ compilation made specifically for the OST, thanks for confirming that. I'm glad this series is release so I can eventually watch it and check out the music as it is in the actual episodes. 

 

Also really interesting to learn that only 5 of the OST tracks are based on material from the show and the rest are new compositions for the album! (Maybe that was in the liner notes...if so, I completely forgot about that fact)

 

I had been confused about Flashing Spikes and didn't take the time to figure it out, so now I know it's part of Alcoa and not something stand-alone. 

 

My favorite of the musical clips are S02E02 Guests in the House (awesome!), S02E05 Mr. Luficer (such a cool slithering part in the low woodwinds), S02E08 Whatever Happened to Ms. Illinois (really cool melody), S02E13 Blues for a Hanging (really like the clarinet solo jazzy piece in the 2nd clip), and that lovely clip from S02E23 Jenny Ray.

 

Thanks again for your hard work and I look forward to Part III. 

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Great comments, Josh, thanks. Like you, I dream of an ALCOA box. In fact, it's on my top 3 of unreleased Williamses, along with his symphony and STORIA DI UNA DONNA.

 

What did you think of the "Moment of Innocence" cue that I lauded in the episode?

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7 minutes ago, Poor_Man_S_HirschFeld said:

Thor, will the last episode of your walkthrough touch upon Williams' later ventures in television music, like Amazing Stories or the theme for Kenobi?

 

Yes, all the way. Although the fun bit is these early parts that few others have heard.

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Nice podcasts, Thor. Thank you for your work!

I found an interesting quote about his TV work in an old newspaper article from the time when Williams started with the Pops:

 

"I composed for at least 200 hour-and-a-half segments of TV anthologies like Playhouse 90 and Crysler Theater from 1958-1964. "

 

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1928&dat=19800429&id=cgYgAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kGQFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1255,5148843

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Whoa, I wonder if he did more Playhouse 90s in 1958 (Goldsmith took over as primary composer for it the following year) than the single one IMDb lists…

 

Yavar

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